Wednesday, 27 December 2017

On Your Way to the Masters Day 2018

If you're working on your Masters, sign up for Masters Day at the Dallas Fiber Fest!  There are so many great classes to help you on Level 1, 2, and 3.  Join me in either Pattern Design for Hats & Sweaters or Picking up Stitches & say hi!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Color Block Tunic

Color Block Tunic

Longer, tunic length sweaters are just so easy to wear.  They look good with leggings, long skirts or just about anything that is comfy. 

The dramatic color blocks provide a slimming profile and the lace waistband adds a feminine accent. The dual-colored cables on the sleeves twist thecolors into eye-catching stripes. I wanted a longer design that would be easy to wear and fun to knit. Despite the longer length, the majority of the garment is worked in quick stockinette stitch, but it incorporates enough elements of change to hold the knitter’s interest.

Sizes XS (S, M, L, 1X, 2X)

Finished Measurements
Chest at underarm:  32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52)”/81 (91.5, 101.5, 112, 122, 132) cm
Hips at widest point:  44 (46, 50, 54, 58, 63)”/112 (117, 127, 137, 147, 163) cm
Length: 30 (31, 32, 33.5, 35, 37)”/76 (79, 81, 85, 89, 94) cm 

Materials and Equipment
Hikoo KENZIE (50g, 160yds, 50% New Zealand Merino, 25% Nylon,
10% Angora, 10% Alpaca, 5% Silk Noils) in the following colors: 
Color A # 1023 Wombat 4 (4, 5, 6, 6, 7) skeins
Color B # 1000 Pavlova 4 (4, 5, 6, 6, 7) skeins
Color C # 1011 Tamarillo  3 (3, 4, 4, 4, 5) skeins
Size 5 (3.75mm) needles
Size 7 (4.5mm) 24” circular needle 
Size 7 (4.5mm ) needles or size needed to obtain gauge
Cable Needle
Tapestry Needle
Stitch Marker
Waste Yarn

Gauge  20 sts & 28 rows = 4”/10cm over Stockinette Stitch on larger needles
To save time, take time to check gauge.
This pattern is available in Cast On Magazine, Fall 2017.   Visit 

For more patterns and information, visit

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Fiber Patterns is LIVE

I am so incredibly pleased to announce that is LIVE!

This project, aimed at bringing knitters and crocheters together with today's best indie designers, has been in the works for awhile and is finally available for everyone to view!  During the launch I have become acquainted with some incredible designers from around the world and meet new ones every day.  It's a wonderful community full of artistic expression, talent and kindness. is an awesome new website is full of unique knitting and crochet patterns designed exclusively by indie designers.  

Knitters and crocheters can find some of the most current designs & click on the pattern for more info.  The site refers shoppers back to the designer’s website or Ravelry where you can get more information on the pattern and purchase/download instantly. really lets you connect with the designers with a full bio of each, a way to contact them and links to their own sites to see the full range of their designs.  The site is easy to navigate, has no ads, and fresh, unique designs.  PLUS +++  The best part, is that’s so easy to find what you’re looking for.  If you’ve ever been to a site where you’re searching for women’s cardigans and you find 80,000 patterns which you need to sift through to weed out the dated patterns, you’ll know what I mean.  No 1970’s leaflets here. 

All designers are currently designing.  Each one specializes in a niche within their craft and more designers are being added regularly.  None of the designers work for publishing houses or yarn manufacturers. They are not limited with their designs nor bound by constraints.  They are truly independent and have come up with unique, fun, artistic and beautiful sweaters, blankets, scarves, socks, mittens, hats, children’s garments and so much more. 

The introductory team of designers includes Katherine Lee, Kerry Bullock-Ozkan, Elin Brissman (a brilliant painter as well), Janet Welsh, Catherine Roujansky, Holli Yeoh, Agata MackiewiczSusan Carlson and myself, Donna Estin.  

The common bond between all of us, is Ravelry of course!  Visit us on Ravelry, see our designs and to see what all the excitement is about, visit

Happy Knitting & Crocheting,

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Are You a Tight Knitter? Loose?

A shopkeeper sitting outside her kitchen shop in Gamla Stan, Stockholm was knitting in the sunshine in December. I complimented her project and she asked if a) I knitted and b) was I an American?  Yes to both.  "The problem with American knitters is they knit too loosely,"  she said.  

I think about her often.  Whenever I notice someone's seed stitch pitted with holes, or a floppy, drapey sweater that doesn't hold it's shape, I remember her words.  I too prefer the look and feel of a densely knit garment that behaves.  

When "tightening up" your knitting, the tendency is for knitters to knit tighter.  Tug the yarn after each stitch, scrunch the stitches across the needles, and hope that you can insert the needle tip into the next stitch without breaking something.

But after spending much time studying this "knitting too tightly" or "knitting too loosely" problem, I've discovered something.  And I'll share it with you.

How you knit affects your hands, arms, fingers, and the ease or difficulty of the process of knitting.  It rarely affects the finished product.  Why?  Because knitters are clever!  Knitters adapt their tools to accommodate their knitting style.  If you're a loose knitter you get in the habit of going down 1, 2 3 or more needle sizes before even beginning your swatch.  If you knit tightly, a solid worsted yarn on a size 7 needle can turn into a swatch yielding 6 1/2 sts per inch instead of the ball band recommended 5 sts/1".   If you're knitting tightly, and you're getting 6 1/2 sts instead of 5 sts / 1", you don't change the way you knit, you go up a needle size, and up another size, while still knitting tightly.  If you're a tight knitter it is possible to knit a perfectly tensioned fabric on a size larger needle and a loose knitter can create the same exact fabric on a much smaller needle.  So if the finished garment is the same, why should it matter?

It matters because tight knitters can experience pain in their fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, neck as they tense their muscles.  It's harder to work decreases and increases when the yarn is too tight.  Cables are near impossible.  And don't get me started on attempting the Cable Cast On with yarn wrapped so tightly around the needle it is suffocating.  But when tight knitters loosen up, they discover uneven tension, rowing out and gauge troubles.  This is NOT because they are knitting too loosely, but because some stitches are loose and some are tight.  It is the inconsistency in their knitting that is to blame.  

The trick is to maintain even tension regardless of how you knit.  Change your needle size!  Tight knitters can go down 2-3 needle sizes and try to knit on the loose side.  Loose knitters go up.  This will feel weird.  You might feel like the yarn is flowing through your fingers without you being in control.  Be mindful of your tension and keep your purl stitches the same tension as your knit.  Don't tug so hard after each stitch.  Keep practicing and you'll be amazed at how your knitting evens out as your body relaxes.   

Adopt an easy style of knitting that allows you to enjoy the process without fatigue, and at the same time produce a neat garment.  By being aware of both process and finished product, you can achieve both.  

   *  Find a style that feels good
   *  Experiment with needle sizes
   *  Swatch, block, test gauges
   *  Choose your yarn carefully.  100% wool is wonderfully elastic and hold it's shape well.

In the end, the problem isn't that we're knitting too tightly or too loosely, it's that the finished garment wasn't knit to produce a well-behaved garment.  Just like soft yarns aren't always better, floppy garments aren't going to be loved year after year.   A garment can be knitted with a loose touch, on a much smaller needle to produce a tighter gauge and a firmer fabric.  THIS! is what the shopkeeper in Gamla Stan was referring to.  Holding a piece of dense knitting, with no holes and a firm feel, that stays put around the neck, doesn't slip off the shoulders and doesn't sag, without ladders to the left of the cables, messy ribbing, and uneven eyelets, is a wonderful piece of knitted fabric to behold.  This piece of properly knitted fabric, will last for years. So go ahead and RELAX, just make sure your finished product doesn't look as easy-going as you are when you're knitting.  

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Celtic Earth Handbag

Celebrate Summer.  Celebrate the Earth with a natural handbag.  Upcycle and bring new life to fibers. Made of strong, recycled fibers, this favorite handbag features Celtic symbols paired with knotted eyelet lace. 
Designed for everyday use, it is large enough to hold today’s gadgets with a handy strap for hands-free mobility. It opens easily and quickly, and shuts with I-Cord to tie for extra security. It features a sturdy Garter Stitch bottom for stability.
Instructions are charted & written out, for knitter’s preference.
This handbag is a favorite for those who avoid the use of leather.

For pattern info, please visit:

Follow on Facebook too - it's fun to have Yarn & Knitting stuff in your newsfeed! 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Provisional Cast On

Anytime anyone goes to the trouble to make a GREAT technique seem super easy, I jump on the chance to promote them.  And this week I want to let you all in on a secret.  Christine shows just how easy you can do a Provisional Cast On.  This is used with scrap yarn when you want to keep live stitches that will be rejoined later in the project.  Use this when you want to knit in both directions, from CO edge upwards and from CO down.  Work the back of a sweater then go back and add a border.  Or when you're working a hem, you can fold at the foldline and use the decrease stitch to hem and knit at the same time. Or for socks.  Or for so many things.  So, here it is!

Techniques - Provisional Cast On

For more amazing instructional videos by the best of the best, visit

Monday, 22 May 2017

Nor'easter Pullover

Knitting an heirloom sweater takes time, but when knitted with natural fibers, can last decades.  It's something to truly be proud of and a classic like thisnever goes out of style.

This traditional Aran sweater is made with 100% natural wool and features a combination of cable patterns. Twisted stitches are incorporated in to a rib cable. A large diamond cable pattern centers the garments. Moss Stitch is used on the sides so armhole shaping doesn’t cut into cabling. Cabled collar adds to the neckline and bobbles accentuate the hem and cuffs.  Garment is worked flat from the bottom up and is charted.

Skill Level: Experienced

Finished Measurements:
Chest at underarm 40 (44, 48, 52)”/102 (112, 122, 132) cm
Length 26 (26.5, 27, 28)”/66 (67.5, 68.5, 71.5) cm

Cascade Yarn CASCADE 220 (100 g, 220yds, 100% Peruvian Highland Wool): 8 (9, 10, 11) skeins # 8010 Natural
Size 6 (4mm) circular 16” (40cm) needles
Size 6 (4mm) needles
Size 7 (4.5mm) needles or size needed to obtain gauge
Cable Needle
Stitch Markers
Tapestry Needle

Gauge: 24 sts & 33 rows - 4”/10cm over Moss St using larger needles.

To download PDF or for more pattern info, click here

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Northern Girl's Fair Isle Tam

There's something addictive about 1) Fair Isle 2) Jamieson's Shetland spindrift yarn and 3) knitting a hat in the round.  I could make oodles of these, in all different color combinations.  These fun, lively colors and a mesmerizing pattern come together in this striking Fair Isle Tam. The hat is knitted in the round from the brim, ending with the crown and is worked corrugated ribbing around the brim, and stockinette stitch for the rest. The pattern is charted.

Size: To fit small to medium-sized adult head

Finished Measurements: Brim Circumference 21” (53cm)

Skill Level:  Experienced (knitter should be familiar with knitting in the round, corrugat
ed ribbing, central double decrease and the tips and tricks that make your Fair Isle turn out well.)

Materials and Equipment:
Jamieson’s SHETLAND SPRINDRIFT (25g, 105m, 100% Pure Shetland Wool):
See pattern for all of the awesome colors. 
Size 2 (2.75mm) circular 16” needles
Size 3 (3.25mm) circular 16” needles or size needed to obtain gauge
Size 3 (3.25mm) double pointed needles
Stitch Markers
Tapestry Needle

This pattern is available as a downloadable PDF for $2.50

For More Pattern Details 
Link to Pattern

To Start Knitting Now Click Here to BUY NOW

At your service!  As always, my email is included in the pattern, so if you have any questions while knitting, please email me.

For more patterns and information, visit

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Willoughby Cardigan

I'm in love with long cardigans.  They're comfy, trendy and fun to wear.  I'm wearing the Willoughby Cardigan with tights as a short dress.  (Could probably have added another button just above the black loop fur hem for a more conservative look when wearing as a dress, but it's really designed as a cardigan.)  Works great with tights too! 

Skill Level:  Intermediate

This long cardigan is fun to wear and with frilly cuffs and hem. It is worked from the bottom up and is charted with schematics. The bulky weight yarn knits quickly despite the long length. The marbled colors of Inca Tweed gives the sweater depths and produces a garment you can be proud of. It is soft, warm, cozy yet breathable with the lace columns and blended fibers. Finished measurements are for the blocked pieces. Selvedges stitches are included in pattern, but not included in finished measurements.

Materials Needed: 

Yarn A) Berroco, INCA TWEED (100 grams/153 yards, 50% Highland Wool, 30% Super Fine Alpaca, 14% Acrylic, 6% Rayon): 9 (10, 11, 12) hanks or 1300 (1530, 1667, 1817) yards, color # 8915 Andes.

Yarn B) Brown Sheep Co. LAMB’S PRIDE (113 grams/190 yards, 85% Wool, 15% Mohair): 1 (1,1, 1) skein, color #M06 Deep Charcoal. 

US Size 8 (5 mm) needles
US Size 9 (5.5 mm) needles 

or size needed to obtain gauge
Cable Needle
Tapestry Needle
5 Toggles or Buttons approx. 4cm in length  

Note—buy buttons after buttonholes are finished
Stitch Markers (optional)

Size:Women's S (M, L, XL) 
Finished Measurements: Chest at Underarm 36 (40, 44, 48)" / 92 (102, 112, 122) cm

Gauge:  16 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette Stitch

This pattern is available as a downloadable PDF for $4.99

For More Pattern Details Link to Pattern

To Start Knitting Now Click Here to BUY NOW

At your service!  As always, my email is included in the pattern, so if you have any questions while knitting, please email me.

For more patterns and information, visit

Happy Knitting!